Research in sports, dance and rehabilitation has shown that basic action concepts (BACs) are fundamental building blocks of mental action representations. BACs are based on chunked body postures related to common functions for realizing action goals. In this paper, we outline issues in research methodology and an experimental method, the structural dimensional analysis of mental representation (SDA-M), to assess action-relevant representational structures that reflect the organization of BACs. The SDA-M reveals a strong relationship between cognitive representation and performance if complex actions are performed. We show how the SDA-M can improve motor imagery training and how it contributes to our understanding of coaching processes. The SDA-M capitalizes on the objective measurement of individual mental movement representations before training and the integration of these results into the motor imagery training. Such motor imagery training based on mental representations (MTMR) has been applied successfully in professional sports such as golf, volleyball, gymnastics, windsurfing, and recently in the rehabilitation of patients who have suffered a stroke.